Benazir Bhutto appeals conviction

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and her husband have filed an appeal against a Swiss conviction for money laundering.

    Bhutto has been dogged by corruption allegations since 1996

    The spokesman for Benazir's Pakistan People's Party,

    Nazir Dhoki, said on Thursday: 

    "Benazir Bhutto filed the appeal in a Swiss court of police

    magistrates on Wednesday."

    A date for hearing the appeal has yet to be fixed.

    The appeal was drafted by Bhutto's lawyer Farooq Naik who is

    already in Geneva and working with a Swiss lawyer.

    Pakistani generals

    Dhoki said Bhutto, who ruled Pakistan twice from 1988 to 1990

    and 1993 to 1996, would summon Pakistani generals for

    cross-examination.

    However, he did not name the generals.

    Swiss magistrate Daniel Devaud found Bhutto, her

    spouse Asif Ali Zardari and their Swiss intermediary guilty of money

    laundering on July 30.

    Zardari is currently serving a
    prison sentence in Pakistan 

    He said they obtained almost 12 million dollars in illegal

    commissions from two Swiss firms for a 1994 customs inspection

    contract.

    Corruption

    Devaud handed the former first couple a suspended jail sentence

    of six months and ordered them to return the money plus

    a diamond necklace to the

    Pakistani state.

    The Swiss finding is considered a major embarrassment for the

     couple, who have rejected more than a dozen corruption

    allegations against them as politically motivated.

    But Pakistani Information Minister Sheikh Rashid said the judgement

    vindicated President Pervez Musharraf's assertions that Bhutto was

    engaged in "looting and plundering" Pakistan.

     

     

    SOURCE: AFP


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